The Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles didn’t get an invite to the White House, but all of the Utah Legislature has, and most are going.
UtahPolicy.com is told that at least 62 of Utah’s 104 lawmakers, mostly Republicans but with a few Democrats thrown in, will be attending a special afternoon briefing/working meeting on Friday, June 22 at the White House to discuss and give input on federal/state relations.
It’s unlikely President Donald Trump will attend, although he could drop in and say hi if he’s in town.
Utah was invited along with Idaho, so expect several hundred state lawmakers, along with a few elected county officials as well, to make the trip.
Utah House chief of staff Greg Hartley says the invite comes out of a recent, similar White House meeting of all the states’ speakers, attended by Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes, who has had pretty good relations with the Trump administration.
In any case, the Utah lawmakers will have to pay their own way – the state won’t pick up the tab.
However, says Hartley, each year Utah lawmakers have 10 “training” days that are paid for.
And he expects most, if not all, of the Utah delegation to put in for a “training” day for the June 22 meeting – and so at least get their per-day state pay to attend.
Utah lawmakers can use their official campaign accounts for such expenses, and if they have the cash there it is likely those funds could be used to pay airfare, hotel, etc.
However, a few legislators face primary challenges this year, and that election is June 26 – the following Tuesday.
So those folks may not want to be taking time off from campaigning to go to D.C.
In any case, Hartley expects a productive meeting, based on the speakers’ event held earlier this year.
Basically, Trump administrators are looking to help states and counties with problems with federal agencies, says Hartley.
That was one of Trump’s campaign promises – to get the federal government out of the way of states.
“No doubt we’ll be talking about some western state issues” – like public land management and such, said Hartley.
It is a nonpartisan affair – and at least four House Democrats have signed up so far.
But since most Utah legislators are Republicans – most of those going will be Republicans, also.